Play-In Tournament Will Return Next Season

JULY 27: The NBA’s Board of Governors has approved the play-in tournament for 2021/22, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Sources tell Charania the format will remains the same and it’s scheduled to take place from April 12-15.

JULY 16: The NBA has reached an agreement with the players union to bring back the play-in tournament for 2021/22, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. A formal vote from the league’s Board of Governors is expected soon.

Commissioner Adam Silver has long been a proponent of the format, which was introduced in 2020 after the restart in Orlando. The Trail Blazers defeated the Grizzlies in the first play-in game, while the Eastern Conference race wasn’t close enough for the play-in provision to kick in.

The play-in tournament was launched in full and revamped for the 2020/21 season, with the No. 7 team in each conference facing No. 8, while the ninth and 10th teams squared off. The winner of the 7/8 matchup automatically earned a playoff spot, while the loser faced the winner of the other game for the final opening.

In the East this year, the Celtics defeated the Wizards and the Pacers topped the Hornets, with Washington earning the eighth seed by beating Indiana. In the West, the Lakers beat the Warriors and the Grizzlies knocked off the Spurs. Memphis beat Golden State to earn its way into the postseason.

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